Weekend Warrior

If you travel frequently for business, you may have searched for a docking station before.  If you’re unfamiliar with what a docking station is, it is typically something you would associate with a laptop computer. Docking stations usually contain slots for expansion cards, bays for storage devices, and connectors for a printer and monitor. It gives your laptop capabilities that otherwise would not be possible! I went on a search trying to find some of the best universal stations, and this is what I’ve come up with.

First on the list is the Targus Universal Notebook Docking Station with video. One thing that certainly makes this docking station unique is the USB video capabilities. Video can be transferred from the docking station (connected to your laptop), to another monitor by using simply one USB cord.  The benefit is obviously the fact that only one USB connection is required. Unfortunately, the downfall is that because of all the information that is transferred over the single USB cable, if you’re playing movies on your computer and it has to send it to the monitor, it’s going to be a bit choppy. This is because USB does have speed limitations. 

Here are some of the technical specs for the Targus Universal Notebook Docking Station with video

Video Modes Supports

  • Primary Video Mode: use external monitor or LCD as your primary display
  • Extended Video Mode: use both your notebook screen and external monitor or LCD for combined viewing
  • Mirror Video Mode: replicate notebook screen onto an external monitor or LCD
  • Video resolution: supports resolution up to 1280 x 1024 16-bit color

This particular docking station was designed for comfort and cooling.  It has a raised notebook platform that helps the air to flow and keep the computer cool.  The “one touch” connection to notebook and tablets PCs makes this a convenient option.  It has two power ports that provide twice as much power as standard USB ports! This docking station can be purchased for around $129.99.

Another option that can be purchased for around $179.99 is the Kensington Notebook Expansion Dock with Video.  As with most docking stations, you can plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to use your notebook as a desktop.  Again, the video with this dock will work with resolutions up to 1280 x 1024.  It features an Intelligent Plug-n-Play technology that will select the best monitor settings automatically.

Docking Stations are a great way to turn your laptop into a desktop computer without spending quite as much money.  If you’d like additional details on the Targus docking station, click here.